Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine a Catch with Cornelia Marie Crew

The owners and captain of the Cornelia Marie, the famous fishing vessel from the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch, turned to Sherwin-Williams when it was time to give the fishing holds a sandblast job from top to bottom.

If a documentary-style TV show makes it to a 10th year in today’s crowded entertainment universe, there is cause for celebration. So when the top-rated show Deadliest Catch unveiled its plans for the 2015 season, a revisit with the popular crabbing vessel F/V Cornelia Marie was high on the agenda for Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings.

For new Owner Josh Harris, Co-Captain Casey McManus, their deckhands, and Sherwin-Williams, that meant a hectic 10 days of dry dock coating work on the underwater hull and freeboard in Alaska to prepare the Kodiak-home-port vessel for its triumphant return. Sherwin-Williams later completed additional restoration work on the ship’s main deck and engine room in mid-2015 in Seattle, Washington.The F/V Cornelia Marie is a 128-foot all-steel twin-screw vessel. Built in 1989, it had been five years since its last recoat. Therefore, it was high time to mitigate the effects of working in the Bering Sea crab business with its harsh elements and heavy impacts from fishing pots.

Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Sales Representative Ray Meador was pleasantly surprised when he took the call from McManus, who had a very strong preference for the company’s products.

The interior of the F/V Cornelia Marie was getting a new galley and living quarters. Working the painting schedule around all of the other remodel projects was challenging, especially since the engine room needed to be painted before the new engines could be installed.

Sam Schuetz

Technical Services Representative

Alaska Renovations

With no store located in Kodiak, Alaska, Meador wrote a specification and put together a schedule to ship the desired products to the Kodiak shipyard from Seattle within a week. The makeover called for a coating system that could deliver strong aesthetics to a high-profile vessel, but could also offer durability, anti-fouling long-term protection, low temperature-resistance, and could be partially applied by deckhands.

Job one for the crew was washing down the underwater hull, which took the better part of four days under the oversight of Paradigm Marine. This was a multistep process, starting with a light pressure-wash to remove growth and slime. As the steel was largely in good condition, the team determined that the hull could be taken down to the existing tight anti-fouling coat using an ultrahigh pressure-wash at 38,000 psi.

While hull washing was taking place, other details were set in motion under the watchful eyes of Technical Services Representative Sam Schuetz, who was on-site for the preparation and application of coatings. This included bringing coating applicator C&M Enterprises up to speed on all aspects of the specified coating system to be spray-applied. Following a thorough review of the product data pages, C&M Enterprises understood what products went where and the characteristics of each.

Surface preparation consisted of removal of loose debris with hand and power tools, priming with Corothane® I MiO-Aluminum where UHS had exposed bare steel, and edge feathering above the waterline to ensure the 1.5-mil profile necessary for proper adherence.

Once a travel lift moved the F/V Cornelia Marie to the pad, the crew put up reinforced polyurethane plastic to meet containment regulations and masked the areas of the freeboard that had lettering and other design elements.

The first weekend was busy. The crew spray-applied a tie coat of SeaGuard® 6000 primer to the hull, followed by a single coat of SeaGuard® Ablative Anti-Fouling epoxy – within hours to avoid delamination – to a wet film thickness of 10-12 mils. The single-component SeaGuard maintains effective, bioactive protection during its entire life.

The next day, Schuetz worked with C&M and the crew to catalyze the Hi-Solids Polyurethane Gloss in the distinctive F/V Cornelia Marie teal that Sherwin-Williams matched from a paint chip. This acrylic polyurethane applied WFT 4-8 mils provides the steel substrate with superior adhesion and impact resistance, even with repeated impacts from fish pots that would shatter other coatings, while still delivering outstanding color and gloss retention.

Once the lettering and cap rail were trimmed out and the crew prepared the bulwarks, the F/V Cornelia Marie was ready to set sail again on Alaska’s high seas.

Washington Renovations

A few months later, the F/V Cornelia Marie was ready for some more primping to revamp the main deck and lower house, and to repower the vessel’s engine room. For these applications, the ship was stationed in Seattle in the spring of 2015.

Due to time constraints, equipment could not be brought in to blast the deck and apply zinc for the second set of renovations on the boat, so the owners decided to again utilize SeaGuard 6000 epoxy on the main deck. The three coats were applied by brush and roller by the F/V Cornelia Marie crew at 5-7 mils DFT per coat.

As for updates to the ship’s engine room, Sherwin-Williams supplied the owners with additional SeaGuard 6000, along with Hi-Solids Polyurethane. The engine room coatings required spray application at the Northlake Shipyard in Washington. The SeaGuard 6000 was applied to a wet film thickness of 5-7 mils, while the Hi-Solids Polyurethane was applied at 3-5 mils DFT per coat.

Along with the coatings applications, the famous vessel was also receiving other updates, including new engines and an updated living area. This would present an extra challenge to the applicators.

“The interior of the F/V Cornelia Marie was getting a new galley and living quarters,” said Schuetz. “Working the painting schedule around all of the other remodel projects was challenging, especially since the engine room needed to be painted before the new engines could be installed.”

With some strategic planning, careful coordination, and good communication with the famous owners and crew to complete all of the remodeling at once, Sherwin-Williams succeeded in providing a quality product to help enhance the famous ship.

“Casey and Josh are great to work with,” Schuetz concluded.

With fresh coatings and supplementary restorations, F/V Cornelia Marie was transformed and ready for prime time once again.

Our Marine Expertise

Explore our industry solutions and technology to help protect your assets.


Product Lookup

Find out more about our innovative coatings for a variety of industries.


Let's Talk

We'd love to discuss your needs for time-tested, smarter asset protection.

Back To Top